Google's DeepMind artificial intelligence (AI) AlphaGo will take on the world champion of the ancient Chinese board game, Go. Google said that it will live stream the game between the AI and South Korea's Lee Sedol on YouTube.
In a landmark victory on 28 January, AlphaGo defeated the game's European champion Fan Hui and now, the AI will battle it out with reigning world champion Sedol between 9 and 15 March.
Both human and robot competitors will go head-to-head in five different games over five days. DeepMind founder Demis Hassabis tweeted details of the game and said, "It is a real privilege and honour to be playing the greatest Go player of the past decade, and a legend of the game."
The AI industry is rife with conjecture over who will reign supreme in this battle of wits against man and machine. Given AlphaGo's unmatched win against Fan in the last game, some believe it will overcome the South Korean world champ with ease.
Sceptics pointed out that, in comparison with the European champion, Sedol seems to be made of sterner stuff, making him a rival to reckon with. Fan told the Venture Beat, "I have heard that Google DeepMind's AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win at least this time."
A victory for Google will go a long way in providing some validation to the tech giant's recent, growing engagement with all things AI. Come March, a victory for either – man or machine – will signal an unparalleled victory of humanity and its ever-evolving quest for progress.